WH Auden wrote this in NYC on 9/1/1939, which also happens 2 B the name of the piece. There are other years ending in nine 2 which which his "low dishonest decade" might apply -- 1/21/2009, for example. I can't read this without seeing myself in it, along with most of the people I know.
To be able 2 read this poem without a struggle, and hear it read simultaneously, go here.
It's usually relatively easy 2 copy & paste a poem, but sometimes you'll run into dreaded sorts of formatting problems, as happened here. My apologies 2 readers.
You don't have
2 understand every term Auden uses 2 understand the poem. W/ the first 2 lines he establishes a tone -- one of resigned & sad, but determined acceptance of reality. 9/1939 consists of equal parts historical, polical, and spititual elements. Already he smells "The unmentionable odour of death."